Traceless – Stateless #2 by Meli Raine

REVIEW

Deceit, betrayal, secrets and lies. For Kina and Callum this is all part of life. But what if life can be different? What if the lies are coming from the people you trust the most?  Plans are unfolding but who’s side should they be on?

Kina has spent her life in the compound, looking after the babies and children, nurturing them, becoming attached and enveloping them in the emotion that she is then programmed to shut off for everyone else.

Callum has been away from the compound for nine years, now he is back.  Returning to Kina, he finds that she has not been in field as expected but remained at the compound working the nursery.

I devoured this book in one day. Kina and Callum grabbed my interest in the first book – Stateless – and continued where they left of with this one.   The connection between Kina and Callum is explosive despite the fact that they haven’t actually done anything, which makes their feelings even more real. Callum finds out some unexpected truths but can he put his trust is someone he doesn’t know? Danger follows them but with new allies, new realities, and new relationships, it is all leading up to an intriguing and exciting final book in this series, Fateless.

ARC courtesy of Meli Raine

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

It’s not against any formal rule for us to sleep together.
It is, however, strictly forbidden to have feelings for each other.
I can’t do one without the other at this point.
Which means I am doomed.
When you don’t know who you can trust, reality distorts. It twists and oozes, disintegrating and reformulating to meet whatever needs its masters demand.
Just like me.
Just like Kina.
Except everything is different now that we know who we really are.
But there’s a second reality, you see.
This one can’t be manipulated.
It just is. Solid and true, it takes our mission, our training, our orders, turning them into nothing but secrets and lies.
And this new reality means my old reality is trying to kill everything I love.
Including her.

(https://www.amazon.com/Traceless-Stateless-2-Meli-Raine-ebook/dp/B07Y8WQ22Z)

RELEASE BLITZ – STATELESS by Meli Raine

Author: Meli Raine
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 15, 2019

Stateless Ebook Cover

BLURB

When you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.

I lie for her.
I hunt for her.
I kill for her.
And above all, I betray my mission for her.
She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.
I do.
Treason comes in many forms.
Love is one of them.
Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.
Our teachers forgot one important detail:
Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.
Yet we do.
It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.
And I know exactly where mine are aimed.

The Stateless Series also includes:
Traceless (releasing 11.19.19)
Fateless (release date TBA)

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Also available in audio

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EXCERPTS

Stateless Teaser 6

#1

I do not sleep.
Kina does, though, and that matters more.
Sleep is a luxury when we are in Woods. She knows it. I know I should catch an hour or two, especially with my five-night punishment and determination to go for six, but I can’t.
What did I just say?
What did I just do?
Kina has the dreams. I have the dreams. I’ve never told anyone else anything that wasn’t one hundred percent part of The Mission.
To confess emotion, to confess my own dreams that do not fit The Mission, could be punished by death.
Or worse. What if I really am so weak? Emotion is shameful. It’s disgusting.
We fail every time we feel.
She knows this. I know this.
And yet we both spoke. Shared.
Confided.
Why?
What does this mean?
With her sleeping beside me, I let my mind wander, giving in to the luxury of imagination. For years, the dream has been the same.
A burning wood fire.
A screaming boy.
A woman with long hair being shot.
A man with a shaved head and blue eyes like mine beaten by another man with a log.
And me with my bow and arrow. My hands are tiny, the skin around the knuckles dimpled. I’ve worked with the four-year-olds here at the compound. I know what young hands look like.
Why would I dream like that?

Stateless Teaser 5

#2

“Thank you,” I choke out.
“For what?” His eyes cut away. The air between us has changed. I can’t explain it. Suddenly, I’m uncomfortable.
And yet I just want to be with him.
“For killing for me.”
As the words come forth from my mouth, I cringe inside. I did not mean to say for me. “For me” implies that he killed the bunny out of some attachment to me.
We are not allowed to have emotions for one another. It puts us at risk.
“I did it for me,” he says, louder than he should need to.
“You did?”
“Yes.”
“Why?”
“To challenge Romeo.”
“Why would you do that?” My voice goes up to a sharp squeak at the end, incredulous.
He laughs. “Because we are taught to destabilize power structures.” He looks around. “What do you think the compound is?”

Stateless Teaser 4

#3

The word feel is foreign. It’s as if Callum speaks another language. My heart jumps inside the cage of my chest.
“Feel,” I murmur.
Just then, Callum’s hand brushes against mine.
My organs have become trampolines, it seems, because my heart jumps into my throat.
He slides his index finger against mine, the touch no more than an inch of skin.
Revealing a mile of need.

MY REVIEW

Absolutely loved this book, from the first page to the last I could not put it down.  It has been a while since I read a book all in one day but this one had me gripped right from the start and kept me engrossed until the end.

Kina and Glen are identical twin sisters. Having been at the compound for as long as they can remember they know no other way of life. Callum, their friend, has been with them since childhood but it is Kina and Callum who have the stronger connection, a connection that cannot be broken, unlike the rules of the compound.

No emotion is the key to being Stateless.   Everything they have been taught, all the training they have completed, their lives up to this point have been planned and executed to perfection with one goal in mind…The Mission.

But what if everything you believed in is a lie, those you trusted the most betray you.  Your life as you know it is not what you thought.  Where do you go? What do you do?

I knew I was going to like Callum as soon as he was introduced in the story.  The strength and power behind his character is evident, even in the younger years.  His unyielding emotional attachment to Kina is evident in his desire to protect her.  Having read the previous series I was aware of the relevance of the mission he has been given.

I’m not yet sure what to make of Kina.  After everything she has been through I want to believe she is what she appears to be and that her feelings for Callum are real, I just have a feeling that not all is as it seems.  And don’t even get me started on Glen! What a… sister!

This story is told from the views of both Kina and Callum.  The majority of the timeline is set nine years ago when the pair where teenagers, in the final year of their training, coming up to the present towards the end.

If you have read the previous series by Meli Raine then some names will be very familiar, such as Romeo who is a prominent figure in this story. This is a stand-alone series, so can be read independently, however I would recommend reading at least the series before but all the series link together.

Suspense, lies, secrets and betrayal.  Fighting for their lives and for their love.

COMING SOON

#2 Traceless – Releasing November 19, 2019

Traceless Ebook Cover

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AUTHOR BIO

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

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Stateless – Stateless #1 by Meli Raine

REVIEW

Absolutely loved this book, from the first page to the last I could not put it down.  It has been a while since I read a book all in one day but this one had me gripped right from the start and kept me engrossed until the end.

Kina and Glen are identical twin sisters. Having been at the compound for as long as they can remember they know no other way of life. Callum, their friend, has been with them since childhood but it is Kina and Callum who have the stronger connection, a connection that cannot be broken, unlike the rules of the compound.

No emotion is the key to being Stateless.   Everything they have been taught, all the training they have completed, their lives up to this point have been planned and executed to perfection with one goal in mind…The Mission.

But what if everything you believed in is a lie, those you trusted the most betray you.  Your life as you know it is not what you thought.  Where do you go? What do you do?

I knew I was going to like Callum as soon as he was introduced in the story.  The strength and power behind his character is evident, even in the younger years.  His unyielding emotional attachment to Kina is evident in his desire to protect her.  Having read the previous series I was aware of the relevance of the mission he has been given.

I’m not yet sure what to make of Kina.  After everything she has been through I want to believe she is what she appears to be and that her feelings for Callum are real, I just have a feeling that not all is as it seems.  And don’t even get me started on Glen! What a… sister!

This story is told from the views of both Kina and Callum.  The majority of the timeline is set nine years ago when the pair where teenagers, in the final year of their training, coming up to the present towards the end.

If you have read the previous series by Meli Raine then some names will be very familiar, such as Romeo who is a prominent figure in this story. This is a stand-alone series, so can be read independently, however I would recommend reading at least the series before but all the series link together.

Suspence, lies, secrets and betrayal.  Fighting for their lives and for their love. Can’t wait to see what happens with Kina and Callum in the next part of the series – Traceless

Reading order recommended:

  • Breaking Away
  • Coming Home
  • Harmless
  • Shameless
  • False
  • Stateless

ARC copy courtesy of Give Me Books promotions and Meli Raine

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

When you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.
I lie for her.
I hunt for her.
I kill for her.
And above all, I betray my mission for her.
She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.
I do.
Treason comes in many forms.
Love is one of them.
Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.
Our teachers forgot one important detail:
Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.
Yet we do.
It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.
And I know exactly where mine are aimed.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44285623-stateless)

Seductive Secrets – Secret Lives #1 by Carrie James Haynes, Colleen Connally

REVIEW

Alyce Hythe has always believed in her father’s innocence but being hidden away has prevented her from finding the truth.  When mysterious occurrences begin that threaten Alyce’s life she finds herself removed from hiding and once again back in the society that has shunned her.  A chance encounter with Lord Julian Casvelyn leads the pair on a journey of discovery and love but when the threats to Alyce’s life increase they must race against time to find who is behind it.

There are many twists and turns with this story that keep it exciting but also can become a little confusing. The plot is interesting and intriguing with secrets, lies and deception at every turn.  I liked the connection that Alyce had with Julian but also with Charles. The loyalty she has to her friend and his happiness very nearly prevents her own happiness but, as with every good romance, it all worked out in the end.

An enjoyable historical romance with elements of paranormal and mystery.

Rating 4/5

Synopsis

Someone wants Alyce Hythe dead… 

Shunned from London society for being the daughter of England’s most notorious spy, Alyce Hythe desires only to clear her father’s name. For years, she has been hidden away from all prying eyes, given a new identity and told to forget who she was. But strange things have been happening causing old rumors to once more be whispered. Long has Lord Julian Casvelyn lived with guilt brought on when his brother was murdered by England’s most infamous traitor. But one eventful night has changed everything Lord Julian believed about his brother’s death. Never did he suspect the woman he has just saved from certain harm is the daughter of that man. Now Julian is caught in midst of a conspiracy and desire for that woman. Thrown together by fate, the two search for answers long denied them and along the way discover a love that can free them both.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15780001-seductive-secrets)

Saving the Billionaire – Justin Trainer #2 by Jane Harvey-Berrick

REVIEW

The exciting second and concluding part of the Justin Trainer series.

Trainer is an ex-marine turned close protection operative…essentially a bodyguard.  His current assignment is the multi-billionaire Devon Anderson.  Anderson has a few skeletons in his cupboard but with a new love interest he is trying to turn, his once sorry self, into a regular human being.

Trainer has is own love-life to contend with in the form of Anderson’s housekeeper, Rachel Smith, who continually turns down his offer of marriage.  Trainer is not a man to give up without a fight in any aspect of his life.

When an unknown person threatens to reveal Anderson’s dirty secrets, Trainer and his team are put to the test to prevent the reveal and track down the culprit but will they be too late and what happens when the threat becomes personal? Trainer has more than his job to keep safe.

Justin Trainer is the quiet, unsung hero of many a ‘Billionaire’ romance.  The man in the background protecting the lead role, but this time the focus is on him.

I absolutely adore Justin Trainer.  He is the rough-around-the-edges type with a heart of gold.  His love for Rachel is only paralleled by his love for his daughter and he would do anything to protect them both.  His interaction with his ex-wife is both funny and depressing (I really don’t like Carla no matter how often Justin thinks she is a good mum, she was a horrible wife!) but his inner-voice monologues are hilarious, which also includes when he’s thinking about his boss.  There are good and bad times ahead for Trainer.  Threats, tears and tantrums along with love, laughter and longing will encompass everyone at Wolf Point but like any good romance there will be a ‘Happily Ever After’ too.

Fantastic ending to a brilliant series.

ARC courtesy of Jane Harvey-Berrick

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

He’s a fast-talking, hard-hitting guy who goes to work with a weapon in his holster. He’s also sexy, loyal and damn good at his job, even when he’s guarding a billionaire boss with too many secrets.
T
He’s Justin Trainer.

You won’t notice me and you won’t hear me, but I’m always there, watching, listening and waiting. I’m armed, dangerous and funny as hell. 

I’m the bodyguard, and I’m the guy who’ll take a bullet for you. Although I’d rather not. I’m the man in black, saving my billionaire boss from blackmailers and computer hackers—but mostly from himself. 

THE NAME IS TRAINER. JUSTIN TRAINER. AND I’M THE BODYGUARD…

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44590399-saving-the-billionaire)

 

Guarding the Billionaire by Jane Harvey-Berrick

REVIEW

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish.  Justin Trainer is a brilliant character, extremely loyal with an awesome sense of humour.  Mr Anderson is a weird-billionaire-genius with major issues.

If you are a romance reader then you will have come across the tormented billionaire story and probably fallen in ‘book-boyfriend’ love with him, however have you ever paid any attention to his bodyguard? The silent man in the background, the keeper of his secrets, and the one who see’s the man inside.  If, like me, you had more of a crush on Taylor then Mr. Grey then you will love Justin Trainer, the man ‘Guarding The Billionaire’.

Ex-Marine, Justin Trainer, now works in Close Protection, essentially he is a bodyguard.  Getting jobs from his former C/O turned security specialist he finds himself on some weird and wonderful assignments.  His latest job is Head of Security for billionaire Devon Anderson.  Devon is a closed-off businessman who prefers to stay out of the limelight, however he does harbour a very large secret and that is his need for self-flagellation and kinky (BDSM style) sex. Devon does not make Trainer’s life easy, often disregarding his advice and not telling Trainer pertinent information.

During his time with the elusive Mr Anderson, Trainer forms an attachment to Mrs Smith, the housekeeper.  He also has a sever disliking of Mr Anderson’s ‘family friend’ Mr Landon. And don’t even getting me started on his thoughts about Mr Anderson’s ‘meditation’ room!  So you maybe thinking this all sounds very familiar, you would right.  If you have read Fifty then you will notice a resemblance in the story and the characters. Don’t worry though, this is a different story, different perspective and… just different.

This book encompasses a number of genres – comedy, romance, BDSM and mystery/suspense. The comedy side is absolutely hilarious.  Trainer has a very dry wit and most of the comedic aspect comes from his private thoughts and opinions.

The BDSM side is based around Mr Anderson’s predilections and although these are touched on it is often from Trainer’s POV, there are some graphic descriptions but nothing too disturbing (in my opinion).

Really looking forward to reading the next in the series – Saving the Billionaire

ARC courtesy of Jane Harvey-Berrick

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

It’s a black comedy, no wait, a romcom … um … a thriller, maybe suspense, and erotic with a bit of BDSM and a super hot bodyguard looking after his billionaire boss. 

It’s definitely not all black and white…

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44590388-guarding-the-billionaire)

BOOK BLITZ – Guarding The Billionaire & Saving The Billionaire By Jane Harvey-Berrick

Genre – romcom/comedy/suspense/thriller

Release Date – GUARDING THE BILLIONAIRE – 9 June & SAVING THE BILLIONAIRE – 19 June

GUARDING THE BILLIONAIRE, pic 3

Synopsis

Guarding the Billionaire #1 (out 9 June)

He’s a fast-talking, hard-hitting guy who goes to work with a weapon in his holster. He’s also sexy, loyal and damn good at his job.

He’s Justin Trainer.

I work close protection. I’m the silent bodyguard at the back of the room. I’m the eyes watching you. I’m the ears listening to you. And I’m the dirty-mouthed grunt with the gun who’ll take a bullet for you.

I’m the man in black, guarding my billionaire boss.

Saving the Billionaire #2 (out 19 June)

He’s a fast-talking, hard-hitting guy who goes to work with a weapon in his holster. He’s also sexy, loyal and damn good at his job, even when he’s guarding a billionaire boss with too many secrets.

He’s Justin Trainer.

You won’t notice me and you won’t hear me, but I’m always there, watching, listening and waiting. I’m armed and dangerous because I’m the bodyguard, and I’m the guy who’ll take a bullet for you.

I’m the man in black, saving my billionaire boss from blackmailers and computer hackers—but mostly from himself.

GUARDING THE BILLIONAIRE, pic 2

Extract

Prologue – The bodyguard and the billionaire

Billionaires. Don’t ya just love ‘em?

Money coming out of their asses. They get their people to call your people, and that’s just to schedule time to take a piss.

I should know. I’m one of the ‘people’ that gets called. Since I left the Marines, I’ve worked for a lot of millionaires, billionaires, gazillionaires. I’ve guarded European royalty and Saudi princes. I’ve stood next to politicians who’ve had death threats, and boybands who get mobbed by women wanting their babies. I’ve seen every vice and virtue, found every flaw, watched the shadows that darken lives.

And now, I’m working for the darkest, most twisted fucker that ever wore an Armani suit. Probably.

I work close protection.

I’m the silent bodyguard at the back of the room.

I’m the eyes watching you.

I’m the ears listening to you.

And I’m the foul-mouthed grunt with the gun who’ll take a bullet for you. Although I’d prefer not to, and if I do my job right, it’ll never come to that.

Intel is everything, so if anyone got the lowdown on my new boss, the media would have a field day. Why? Because the guy who signs my paychecks is a sick fuck, into bondage, domination, sadism and masochism—and that’s before breakfast—with a drawer full of files on his fuck buddies, submissives, who get tied up in his attached dungeon. Usually one at a time, but you never know. Still, at least he’s honest about who he is.

He’s a billionaire.

Extract 

The bodyguard and the camel

I step forward, keeping an eye on my surroundings as Talal sweeps his arm toward a stable in the middle of the front row. It’s slightly larger than the others and a puff of cooler air spills out as the door is opened.

“This is my treasure,” he says proudly. “Her name is Nabila. It means happiness. Isn’t she beautiful?”

He sounds like a proud parent and I briefly wonder why he keeps his woman in a stable when I finally realize that my bodyguarding duties are required by a large, dun-colored female camel.

A tawny head on a snake-like neck peers out, making a noise like a frat-boy puking his guts.

“Look! She’s calling to you!” Talal says happily. “She likes you!”

He rubs the camel’s long nose, cooing to her in Arabic. The camel’s eyelids droop and she snickers softly.

“She’s worth more than ten million dollars,” he states.

My jaw hits the floor.

“Nabila has won me more than three thousand Dirham, or twenty million of your US dollars in races.”

 Now, I get it. That is a fuck-ton of money.

Talal continues proudly.

“And her brood mare fees will significantly increase if she wins the Mazayen Al-Ibl next month. Her offspring will be very valuable. There have been threats from my rivals,” he says darkly. “Twice, ground-up glass has been found in her feed. But it was found in time, Inshallah.”

I look up at the security cameras and the armed guards, and understand what Mason meant about it being an inside job. And I’m the biggest outsider Talal could find.

“You, Mr. Trainer, will watch Nabila around the clock. You will keep her alive. You will keep her safe.”

Nabila puckers up her hairy lips and comes towards me for a smooch. I back away, but not fast enough, and she sends a stream of saliva dripping down the front of my best suit.

Talal claps his hands, a huge smile on his face.

“This is a good omen, Mr. Trainer!”

Yup, lucky me. I’ll be sleeping in a stable for the next month.

What the hell, I’ve slept in worse places for a lot less money.

Nabila nudges my shoulder and I pat her nose.

“Just you and me tonight, hot stuff. I sleep on the left, right?”

“Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

I’m not sure if that means yes or whether I’ve just struck out.

 

Quick Quotes

  • “If you liked 50 Shades, you’ll love this. And if you hated 50 Shades, you’ll love this even more!”    –    Monica Lomond, author
  • Close protection, bodyguards, we’re deeply misunderstood. We’re not unthinking, uncaring masses of muscle and testosterone, we have feelings, too.  I’m a guy totally in touch with my emotions: I fucking hate my ex-wife.
  • Who wants a woman who does exactly as they’re told all the time?

GUARDING THE BILLIONAIRE, pic 1

Author Links

Amazon – Guarding The Billionaire

Amazon – Saving The Billionaire

Goodreads – Guarding The Billionaire

Goodreads – Saving The Billionaire